The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision granting same-sex couples the right to marry in all of the U.S. states and unincorporated territories is another cause for celebration! Immigration law treated married same-sex spouses just the same as different-sex spouses. This included the right for a U.S. citizen to petition for a same-sex fiancé(e) abroad, petition to adjust status for a same-sex spouse to obtain a marriage based green card, and also for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to petition for stepchildren created by a same-sex marriage. However, prior to the ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, a same-sex couple sometimes had to travel to another state or country to marry. That potential hardship has now been removed, and U.S. citizens or permanent residents seeking to petition for a same-sex spouse may marry anywhere in the U.S.
Immigration is not just a hot topic in the United States. All around the world, countries struggle with the balancing act of meeting the needs of both citizens and immigrants. In France earlier this month, government officials honored the heroic acts of 24-year-old Malian immigrant, Lassana Bathily. Mr. Bathily is credited with saving many lives during a terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in January. Four were killed during the horrific ordeal.
Bathily was working at the kosher store on January 9 when Islamic extremist Amedy Coulibaly carried out his assault. Putting his own life at risk during the attack, Bathily helped customers by ushering them to safety, hidden in a back storage room. He not only saved their lives, but was able to escape himself and aid French police to end the attack. French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve along with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, honored Bathily with a medal and also granted him French citizenship. Cazeneuve praised Bathily’s bravery in saving the customers, and noted that it was an “act of humanity [which] has become a symbol of an Islam of peace and tolerance.” For his part, Bathily was humble about his actions and expressed his happiness at being granted dual citizenship.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status that may be granted to eligible nationals from certain designated countries.
Who Is Eligible for TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS when it is determined that:
- There is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety;
- The state has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions, the state is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals, and the state has requested TPS designation; or
- There exist other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning in safety, unless the Secretary finds that permitting nationals of the state to remain temporarily is contrary to the national interest of the United States.
What does TPS mean to you?
If you are a TPS beneficiary, you will not be required to leave the United States. You may obtain work authorization during the initial time period of your stay in the U.S. under TPS, as well as for any TPS extensions. It is important to note that TPS does not lead to permanent resident status.
A TPS designation is effective for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months. Before the end of the TPS designation period, the Secretary will review the conditions in the designated state and determine whether the conditions that led to the TPS designation continue to be met. TPS designations can be terminated or extended for 6, 12, or 18 months. If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the TPS for individuals from your country of origin is not necessary any longer and the status is terminated, you will return to the same immigration status that you held before entering into TPS.
It is important that you apply correctly for TPS if you are eligible and seek qualified legal counsel to ensure that you are taking the correct steps in your immigration journey.
Two years ago, President Obama set forth the guiding principles that should lead immigration reform. Although the Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, the country has been waiting, and waiting… and waiting… for House Republicans to vote. The time has come for the President to issue executive actions and address some of the problems plaguing the immigration system.
Tomorrow night, President Obama will present new immigration law reforms instituted by his executive actions. There are high hopes that these executive actions will finally help fix our broken immigration system.
You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.
There are a number of helpful legal services available to abused immigrants. Often, when the abuser is a U.S. citizen, he or she may try to use the victim’s immigration status against him or her. Don’t let this happen to you if you are an immigrant who has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse!
We can offer you many types of assistance to aid you if you are being abused. We can help you assess your circumstances and if possible, we will offer you help in changing your situation. Our free initial consultation is confidential and private. We are both friendly and supportive of individuals in need of assistance. Don’t be afraid to call us today!
We can help you protect your safety:
- Temporary & Permanent Restraining Orders
- U visa for victims of crime (including domestic violence)
- T visa for victims of extreme trafficking in persons
- S visa for being of assistance to law enforcement
We can help you obtain a U.S. green card:
- Abused Spouse Immigrant Visa Petitions (VAWA application)
- Marriage-Based & Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas
- Gender & domestic violence based Asylum
- Substitution of Marriage-Based Immigrant Visa for Battered Spouse Immigrant visa to continue the adjustment of status (permanent residency application) process
- Adjustment of Status Application (green card application)
- Advance Parole filings (for travel outside the U.S.)
- FOIA requests to get a complete copy of your immigration file from USCIS
Every year, tens of thousands of United States Visas are issued to people who live overseas and are married or engaged to be married to an American Citizen. A U.S. visa allows them to move to the United States and be with their loved ones. There are a number of ways to obtain a U.S Visa to join your spouse or fiancé(e). If you are a foreign citizen and are engaged to a U.S. citizen, the most common way of coming to the U.S. is with a K-1 fiancé(e) Visa. For a foreign citizen spouse, there are several common ways to come the U.S., each with their own benefits. Below is a list of visas that can be obtained to bring a foreign fiancé(e) or spouse to the U.S.
Immigration options for a foreign fiancé(e) living overseas:
- Fiancé(e) Visa K-1
Immigration options for a foreign spouse living overseas:
- Spouse Visa K-3
- Spouse Visa IR-1 or CR-1
- Consular Processing
If you have any questions about obtaining a U.S. visa through your spouse or fiancé(e), call or email Your Immigration Angel for a free initial consultation. We can assist you today!
U.S. immigration law now allows same sex couples to apply for marriage based green cards as well! This is opportunity was made available after the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutionally denying same-sex legally married couples Federal Benefits, including the ability to sponsor an individual’s spouse for a marriage-based green card. Reformed immigration laws have been implemented since June 26, 2013. All U.S. Federal Agencies have enacted laws regarding same-sex married couples’ immigration petitions, as overseen by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security. If you need assistance in petitioning for your spouse, feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel for a free consultation!
The EB-5 visa offers foreign investors a chance to live in the United States and become U.S. citizens in exchange for providing $500,000 to $1 million in capital and creating at least 10 new jobs in the U.S. Although the cap for investor visa has never been reached, the State Department recently announced that the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program reached its cap of 10,000 visas for the 2014 year. The EB-5 program sometimes raises concerns that it provides immigration privileges to wealthy investors and can be susceptible to fraud. However, a Brookings Institution analysis found that the EB-5 program has created 85,500 full-time jobs and brought $5 billion of investment monies over the 25 years that the program has been implemented. Despite this good news, the program is not permanent and is set to expire in 2015 unless Congress renews it.
Two years after President Barack Obama announced his executive order for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which lets young people who were brought without immigration papers by their parents to the United States apply to stay for a certain period of time, education benefits are being made available. The Dream US, a national organization with $32 million to help young people, announced that applications for scholarships up to $25,000 are being accepted from undocumented youth who will be first-time college students or who will transfer to a four-year university to finish a bachelor’s degree. The scholarships – to which individuals can apply online through Sunday, Oct. 26 by 11:59 p.m. (Central Standard Time) – can be used to pay for college tuition, as well as books and fees. The scholarship amount depends on a young person’s financial need and the cost to attend a university or college. Scholarship recipients need to be considered as in-state students, in terms of tuition, maintain a grade point average of 3.0, stay enrolled in a college or university that is a partner of TheDream.US and keep their DACA status. TheDream.US has posted guideline information, as well an application link, FAQs and stories from scholarship recipients.